Wednesday, January 23, 2008

More Farm Girl News

The Lawlesses are kindly letting me come over and follow them around during their morning chores, by which I mean experiment on their animals rather than kill my own. In honor of them, I shall enumerate:

Things Everybody Needs To Know About Goats:

1. Their horns are super-efficient handles. Don't think you're hurting them when you wrench their heads around to get them to go where you want; they secretly like it.

2. Another note about their horns: they get stuck on things. Like, in the middle of a fence. Goats are smart enough to get their heads through the fence one way, but not smart enough to get them through the other way. It works like barbs on an arrow, except it baas.

3. Every morning you have to clean the poop out of their food troughs. 'Nuff said. These are not particularly smart animals.

4. They're fast little boogers.

5. When you chase a baby goat and manage to catch it and it screams bloody murder for its mama, don't worry. It'll quiet down after you hold it for a while, and the next time it won't scream for such a long time, and so on until it doesn't mind being caught.

6. On a related topic, the goats always sound a lot more pathetic than they actually are. Don't let a goat make you think it's lost and sad and miserable and needs extra food; it's a lie.

7. When you're throwing hay down from the top of the hay stack into their feeders and you miss and hit a goat on the head with a fourth of a bale of hay, it probably won't even notice.

8. If you shock it with a cattle prod, however, it will notice. Then it will make a funny startled "maa-ap" sound and leap over the rest of the goats, and probably get stuck crowd-surfing, if you happen to shock it when they're all crowded around trying to stick their noses in the bucket of grain that you're taking to their trough.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Crazy week

Lessons learned this week:

Lesson 1.

Country people carry chainsaws in the backs of their pickups just in case there's a tree down across the road.

Other country people cut trees and just leave them when they fall across the road.

If someone hasn't gotten there with a chainsaw to clear the road, it takes a REALLY LONG TIME to get to Mass if you don't know alternative routes.

The Moral: when you live on a dirt road, always know alternative routes.

Lesson 2.

That drain pipe that goes from the gully on one side of the driveway to the gully on the other side that empties into the pond is there for a reason.

When the drain pipe is full of leaves and the forecast calls for 8 inches of rain overnight, you ought to clear it out.

If you don't, your barn is going to flood and a lot of boxes are going to be ruined.

A snow shovel is a very efficient tool for moving water from your barn floor into buckets.

Lesson 3:

Sometimes one's front pasture turns into a river, when the skies let loose 8 inches of rain. There is no moral to be gleaned from this, just miscellaneous wisdom.

Also, when one's front pasture is no longer a river, sometimes it's still a lake for a while. And then you might not want to haul dead branches from the banks, because you might fall in. I didn't, but I might have.

I will post pictures of the flood once I finish this roll out. In the meantime, pictures are going here: pictures, so check back. I tried to embed pictures in this post, but I failed somehow. I'll try to figure it out again, because it's much more interesting to read posts that have pictures in them.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Adventures in a Very Chilly Wonderland

You know why they tell you to run your faucets when it's cold? It's so the pipes don't freeze. But what if you have a well and you never know when the holding tank is going to run empty? You can't really waste water all night, can you?

Well, if you're an inhabitant of the Cedar House, you can't.

Turns out, if you're an inhabitant of the Cedar House, you get to spend the first half of the next day figuring out how the siphon works, collecting buckets, and siphoning water from the holding tank into the buckets and lugging them up to the house. Because the pipes don't refrain from freezing just to accommodate your desire to save water.

When your hands are all wet from siphoning water into buckets and you don't have a towel, and then you have to stand next to the bucket holding the plastic tube to keep it squirting into the bucket and not all over the floor of the well house and it's nearly freezing outside, it's a good time to get some souls out of Purgatory.

I really don't like getting souls out of Purgatory.

But about half an hour after lunch, after I had lugged another batch of water buckets up to the house and was washing dishes (with a bowl of lukewarm soapy water and a sponge, and rinsing the soapy water by dousing the dishes with icy water [remember what I said about the temperatures?] from a pitcher), the faucet (which was now open because you never know when plumbing will start working again) magically started to drip. The drip turned into a steady stream, and the steady stream got larger, until there was no doubt that the pipes were thawed. So now all faucets are running merrily, wasting water for sheer joy of having plumbing that works.

Tonight I am definitely setting the sink to run.